The California Labor Commissioner’s Office issued more than $1.2 million in wage theft citations to a Temecula nail salon for misclassifying and failing to properly pay 36 workers. An investigation found that the workers at Young’s Nail Spa were not paid an hourly rate and not paid overtime despite working up to 50 hours a week.
The citation includes $670,040 payable to workers — for minimum wage and overtime pay violations, failure to pay overtime, among other violations — and $572,187 in civil penalties, which includes $160,000 for misclassifying workers as independent contractors.
The Labor and Workforce Development Agency referred the case for investigation when a complaint was filed through the Private Attorneys General Act. Investigators audited the business records over a 40-month period and determined that 36 workers employed at the salon were paid for each salon service performed instead of the total hours worked. Shifts averaged 9.5 to 10 hours per day but workers were not properly paid for overtime, nor provided proper meal and rest breaks.
“Using misclassification as a business model not only denies workers of their rightful pay, but also gives the employer an unfair advantage over law-abiding businesses,” said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. “California law is clear that if employers pay less than the minimum wage, when they are caught they will be responsible for paying not just the wages owed, but an equivalent amount in liquidated damages plus interest.”